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  • Jason Praill


The process of selling a house can be a tricky one, especially if you’ve never done it before. Staying organised, proactive and good communication is key.

I have put together the different steps, and shared some tips to help things go as smoothly as possible.

How long is the process of selling a house?

The time it takes to sell a house varies depending on a number of factors, such as how many of you are in the property chain. Usually, you’re looking at around 3-4 months from listing to completion, though it can be faster or slower. A good estate agent (Hello!) and solicitors are key.

How much is your home worth? Knowing how much your home is worth can be tricky; get two or three valuations (Hello!) evaluate them and ensure you feel confident with the suggested asking price, based on what the local market is doing. Be aware of overly inflated asking price suggestions, it has been known to be used by some agents to try and win your business and then ask you to reduce a couple of weeks later. It’s essential to get the asking price right as this can impact the amount of interest your property gets, and therefore how long it is or isn’t on the market. The longer your home is on the market, the more likely you may need to reduce your asking price. Look at other sold prices for similar properties in the area as a guide. Also consider what makes your property unique, and ensure any special features are shouted about.

Get your head around the finances From estate agent fees to solicitors, the cost of selling a house adds up. If you’ve decided to sell, you need to ensure you can afford it. Getting an idea of costs first makes sure there are no surprises.

Is the timing right? Knowing whether it’s a good time to sell a house is a very personal decision. Don’t be pressured by talks of high house prices or buyer demand, knowing whether now’s the time depends on your individual circumstances. Provide an EPC Sellers must provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property, which provides your home with an energy efficiency rating. This should be ideally done before you start marketing or selling your property however, there is a grace period so speak to your agent.(Hello!)

Should you renovate first? It can be a good idea to add value to your home before you sell. Even small changes can go a long way; you’d be surprised at what a fresh lick of paint or new carpet can do.

List your property for sale Your listing creates the first impression of your home: make it a good one. Ensure:

  • There are plenty of photos

  • All photos are of a high-quality

  • The description is attention grabbing and accurate

  • All key features are highlighted

  • You are confident in the asking price

Wrong price or wrong agent are two of the most common reasons why a house won’t sell, so make sure yours is being marketed well and at the right price.

Find a solicitor A solicitor will be integral to ensuring the sale progresses efficiently; they’ll deal with multiple tasks during the conveyancing process, from deposit transfer to liaising with mortgage lenders, to registering property ownership with the land registry. It’s a good idea to instruct one early on, before you’re under offer, around the time you find your estate agent (Hello!)

Get ready for viewings Did you know…? The best buyers are likely to walk through your door in the first two weeks! It’s a good idea to duck out of the first viewing if you can, and let the agent do their job, taking any children or pets with you. Other tips for selling your home include:

  • Decluttering – but not depersonalising

  • Removing any odours (e.g. pets and their beds)

  • Ensuring your home is clean and gleaming

  • Making it look as spacious as possible

Get feedback Potential buyers will all be looking for different things, but it’s important your agent gives you thorough feedback after every viewing.

Find a buyer How do you know when a good offer is on the table? It’s not all about money here, consider the buyer’s position too. Finding the right buyer means asking yourself:

  • How prepared are they? Do they have a mortgage in principle?

  • Are they in a chain? If so, how many are in the chain?

  • Is their home under offer?

  • How much interest have they expressed in your property?

  • What are their timescales? What are yours?

Accept an offer If you think you’ve found the right buyer, it’s time to accept their offer – ensure you get it in writing. Remember though, accepting an offer doesn’t mean you’re on the home straight just yet, no house sale is guaranteed to go through. Gazundering is legal in England and Wales (where the buyer lowers their offer after it’s been accepted). Both solicitors will confirm the sale is agreed, subject to contract.

Surveys & checks From mortgage valuations to getting a property survey, a number of checks will need to be arranged on your home to ensure the sale can go through. Sometimes, an offer might be lowered for legitimate reasons, such as survey findings that will be costly to fix. A good agent will work on your behalf to minimise the amounts (Hello!)

Contract drafting If you have them, give the title deeds to your solicitor, who will then draw up a contract to be sent to the buyer’s solicitor. This is also the stage where you’ll need to confirm certain details, such as boundaries. The buyer’s solicitor will also carry out a number of searches, including Local Authority information. They’ll also look at things like planning history and any planned developments in the area.

Sign the contract Now it’s time to sign on the dotted line! Your solicitor will lead this process and tell you when to do what.

Agree moving dates Agreeing a date for the exchange of contracts and completion (move-out day) can require some compromise from both sides, and will be agreed by both solicitors.

Exchange Up until the exchange of contracts, either party can pull out of the sale. But, if all goes to plan, this is the point where the sale becomes legally binding. A lot needs to happen between exchange and completion, including deposit transfer. It’s also the moment the buyer should take out building insurance.

Complete This is the moment where you hand over the keys and payment is made – you can finally celebrate!

There may well be things that I haven't included however this will give you enough information to be prepared!! The important thing is a good estate agent (Hello!) will guide you through. Please be in touch if you would like to discuss your next move, I am more than happy to come and see you to talk things through with no obligation. My advice is free and with close to thirty years experience I've seen most things!

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